November Rhymes and Miscellanea

November was the ninth month of the Roman calendar. Its name is derived from the Latin novem, nine. The Anglo Saxons called it Blotmonath (‘Bloodmonth’) or Windmonath (‘Wind Month’).

In Welsh it is Tachwedd – the month of slaughtering, or Y Mis Du – the black month. In Gaelic it is Ant-Samhuinn – the month of the Samhain festival.

November is the pioneer of Winter, who comes, with his sharp winds and keen frosts, to cut down every bladed and leafy bit of green that is standing up, so as to make more room for the coming snowflakes to fall on the level waste, and form a great bed for Winter to sleep on . . . But amid all these images of desolation, which strike the eye more vividly through missing the richly-coloured foliage that threw such beauty over the two preceding months, November has still its berries which the early frosts have ripened to perfection.

November – the time when fishermen beached their boats and stopped fishing for winter.

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds – November!
Thomas Hood ‘No’ (1844)

On the first November if the weather hold clear
An end of what sowing you do for this year

November’s child is born to bless,
He’s like a song of thankfulness.

Married in veils of November mist,
Fortune your wedding ring has kissed.

If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come, remember.

Ice in November to bear a duck,
Nothing afterwards but slush and muck.

November take flail,
Let ships no more sail.

Ice in November brings mud in December.

If the November goosebone be thick, so will the winter’s weather be.
If the November goosebone be thin, so will the winter’s weather be.

November’s sky in chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.

A child born at Hallowtide is sure to have the second sight and all November’s children will be fortunate and beloved.

A cold November, a warm Christmas.